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N.H. Fish and Game purchases parcels for hunting in Sullivan County



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, March 07, 2019

CROYDON — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department last week finalized the purchase of nearly 3,200 acres on two parcels to be known as the William B. Ruger Wildlife Management Area.

Spanning parts of Grantham, Croydon and Newport, the land will be managed to protect wildlife and aquatic resources and provide hunting and other public recreation opportunities, according to a Fish and Game news release.

Fish and Game first entered a purchase and sales agreement with The Conservation Fund, a national environmental nonprofit, which acquired the land from Ruger last July. The Newport resident and former chairman and CEO of gun-maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. died two months later at age 79.

The total project cost was $3.4 million, with key funding coming from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration grant program, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service’s Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund and the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, or LCHIP.

One block, Ruger WMA South (formerly known as the Brighton parcel), covers more than 1,900 acres in Newport and Croydon and includes diverse wetlands and 2.8 miles of cold water streams.

The other, WMA North (Loverin parcel), is more than 1,250 acres in Croydon and Grantham and features Ash Swamp Brook, 83 acres of wet meadow and shrub wetlands.

“The protection of this property was very important because it includes a range of differing types of habitat that can support a diversity of wildlife species,” Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau said in the release. “A property of this size affords the opportunity to improve habitats through field and forest management that will have tremendous benefits to local wildlife populations.”

Combined with adjacent Corbin Park, a private game preserve, the properties comprise nearly 49,000 contiguous acres, one of the largest unfragmented areas in New Hampshire outside of White Mountain National Forest.

Filled with swamps, beaver ponds, streams, fields and forest, the area is fertile habitat for large animals such as moose, deer and bear as well as smaller species like waterfowl, mink, otter and snowshoe hare.

While there are no plans to install a trail system, the area contains a network of class 5 and 6 roads and will remain open to activities such as hunting, fishing and hiking, which already were popular there under Ruger ownership.

More info on the project can be found at wildlife.state.nh.us.

Jared Pendak  can be reached at jpendak@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.

Correction

New Hampshire Fish and Game recently acquired nearly 3,200 acres for the newly created William B. Ruger Wildlife Management Area after the environmental nonprofit The Conservation Fund purchased the land from Ruger last July. An earlier version of this story omitted the nonprofit group's role in preserving the land.